Icons of America's Rivers
By Sara Wright
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747811411, 64pp.)
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
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Paddlewheel riverboat, showboat, sternwheeler, steamboat: call it what you will, but the steamboat revolutionized travel in the 1800s, an era in which young boys dreamed of becoming river pilots and Mark Twain forever memorialized the "Delta Queens" that travelled up and down the Mississippi River. Steamboat enthusiast Sara Wright provides a background into the historical events that made the era perfectly ripe for the development of the steamboat industry in America in this colorful history. Steamboats will look at the people who played key roles in the development of the steam engine and paddle boats, including the important part played by the many African Americans who worked the river. Wright also examines the technology of these floating mansions, from firebaskets and cannons, to radars and whistles, to steam pressure gauges and other innovations.
Sara Wright is a member of the American Sternwheel Association (www.americansternwheel.org), for which she is a regular contributor to their newsletter. A professional artist and photographer, she has also been involved with the restoration of sternwheel houseboats. She earned a bachelor of science degree in commercial design from Indiana State University.